The World of Han Meilin in Venice
What do you do in Venice on a lazy sunny January Sunday afternoon if you like art?
Well, of course the options are plenty, since there are more than 40 museums in Venice, lots of art galleries and the city is simply a unique giant work of art!
I am lucky enough to have visited most of Venice museums, so I was looking to do something different.
I asked my friend Romena of RomInVenice if she had some suggestion on something new happening around Venice and she suggested I payed a visit to the new exhibition in Venice University Ca’Foscari: Il Mondo Di Han Meilin A Venezia.
She told me it was bellissima!
So early afternoon, I set off with a friend of mine and, strolling around the maze of calle and canals which characterise Venice, we made our way to Dorsoduro, the sestiere (district) where the H.Q. of the University is located.
Ca’ Foscari, Venice University
It was founded originally as a High School for Commerce in 1868 and then later, in 1968, it became the Università degli Studi di Venezia.
Ca’ Foscari is one of the top 200 universities in the QS World University Rankings 2016 by subject for Economics, Econometrics and Modern Languages, and among the top seven in Italy. It counts nearly 19,000 students.
But Ca’ Foscari is also a site which is often used for beautiful international exhibitions, always with a free entry.
We walked into the large open garden and made our way to Ca’ Giustinian dei Vescovi, the building adjacent to Ca’ Foscari, which usually houses the temporary exhibitions and which right now hosts Il Mondo Di Han Meilin A Venezia.
Scattered all over the two large courtyards there are various sculptures by the artist: playful bronze pandas, placed in different positions, anticipating the interest of Han in the animal world.
Il Mondo Di Han Meilin A Venezia
On the ground floor, we were greeted by a large bright room where the first works of art of Han Meilin were on display.
As you walk in, you immediately enter in contact with the sculptural creations in bronze and metal, recreating a primeval world, populated by various animals, trees and furniture plants, accompanied by traditional Chinese music that transports you into an enchanted garden.
The itinerary continues on the upper floor in the central hall which houses large and small paintings, created with the technique of ink painting (wet sheet) and whose favorite subjects are still animals (real or invented) and the human body, poised between realism and abstraction.
In the other rooms, you can find porcelain sculptures in bright varied shades and colours as well as clay teapots of different shapes, engraved with refined ideograms.
There are sculptures with traditional dragons and mystical subjects, and the Dialogue series, consisting of some chairs produced with different woods, embellished with decorative motifs, to symbolise the strength of peaceful dialogue among peoples in the era of globalisation.
The artist’s task is to instill in man the faith and love of life to create a better world.
This is Han Meilin’s strong message which this exhibition wants to bring to the attention.
Han Meilin is one of the most important living Chinese artists, and is the first Chinese artist to have received the recognition of “Artist for Peace” by UNESCO.
Among his best known inventions there are the stamps with the “panda”, the logo and the “Fu Wa” mascots for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and the symbol of Air China airline . The cities of Beijing, Hangzhou and Ynchuan host the three museums collecting all his artistic production, illustrated by three videos inserted in the exhibition.
My thoughts on The World of Han Meilin in Venice
I totally loved this exhibition.
I loved the lighting, nice and bright in the large rooms, suffused and directed on the works of art in the smaller and darker rooms, allowing for each single teapot or sculpture to stand out.
I loved the display by themes, clear and easy to understand: The Eternal Wait, The Magic Garden, The Wild Life, The Chinese Calendar, The Brilliance of Clay, The Shadow of Time.
But mostly I loved the fact that we were the only one there, sadly in a way, but perfect in another.
It was sad that such an exhibition was nearly totally deserted on a Sunday Afternoon in Venice, considering it is a free entry exhibition, with such a good display of works of art by such an amazing artist!
It was perfect because we got to savour it and totally enjoy it in our own time, with no crowds, no noise, total stillness! Just the way I love to see art!
And Romena was right: it is BELLISSIMA! Thank you for suggesting it, Rom!
So if you happen to be in Venice before 28th February 2017, make sure to pay a visit to this evocative and charming exhibit.
Il Mondo di Han Meilin a Venezia – The World of Han Meilin in Venice
28th October 2016 – 28th February 2017
From 10a, till 6pm – closed on Tuesdays
Ca’ Foscari Esposizioni
Dorsoduro 3246 – Venezia
WATER BUS Line 1 – Ca’ Rezzonico o San Tomà Stop
#venice #atasteofvenice #whattodoinvenice